c. 1170: France
Now I’d be pleased, Giraut de Bornelh,
To know why you criticize
Trobar clus, and for what reason.
Since you so esteem
What all poets have in common;
In your view, they’d all be the same.
Giraut de Bornelh:
Sir Linhaura, I don’t complain
If people compose as they like.
But in my judgment
One is more loved
And more esteemed
When he makes his song easy and light;
I hope you get my meaning right.
Giraut, I do not want my work
To turn into a muddle; it is praised
By good men, both great and small.
But the fools
Will never praise it,
For they don’t know or care
What is thought to be worthy and dear.
Linhaura, if their thinking cost me sleep
And turned my days to torment,
It would seem I feared acclaim;
Why do you compose,
If you don’t want
Everyone to know your tunes?
Singing brings no other gain.
Giraut, if I prepare only my best
And bring it forth and sing it,
What do I care if it doesn’t catch on?
Never has ordinary fare
Been a dainty dish;
That is why gold is worth more than salt,
And it is the same with song.